Liberals oppose houses on Barnoldswick greenfield sites

Liberal Democrat councillors in Barnoldswick are opposing some of the greenfield sites proposed for development by Pendle Council, including the fields adjacent to Greenberfield Locks in the town.'Pictured at the locks with the contentious field in the background are councillors L-R: Ken Hartley, David Whipp, Marjorie Adams and Lindsay Gaskell.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'2-12-2014
Liberal Democrat councillors in Barnoldswick are opposing some of the greenfield sites proposed for development by Pendle Council, including the fields adjacent to Greenberfield Locks in the town.'Pictured at the locks with the contentious field in the background are councillors L-R: Ken Hartley, David Whipp, Marjorie Adams and Lindsay Gaskell. PIC BY ROB LOCK'2-12-2014

Liberal Democrats in Barnoldswick have joined Nelson and Colne counterparts in objecting to a string of greenfield beauty spots being included as building sites in Pendle Council’s core strategy.

The Liberals fresh salvo is in opposition to hundreds of new houses being built on greenfield sites in Barnoldswick.

Potentially these could include land overlooking the town’s Greenberfield Locks, woodland off Long Ing Lane, fields on either side of Gisburn Road and between Westgate and Calf Hall Mill and off Windermere Avenue at Colne.

As well as asking for those housing sites to be removed before supporting documents are studied by a government inspector, the Liberals describe housing numbers on which the plan has been based are “fundamentally flawed” and that projected numbers are “hopelessly unrealistic” and “not deliverable”.

In Barnoldswick, Coun. David Whipp has branded it “awful” and “a developer’s charter”, adding: “It’s part and parcel of the character of Barnoldswick to have built up areas of town but never being more than five minutes away from getting out to green fields. These developments, if they come about, will destroy the character of the town.”

In an extract of the Pendle wide Liberal Democrat objection, the party states that the net number of houses built each of the three years from 2011 to 2014 was 51, “already 514 dwellings behind schedule” on a “dubious” phasing scheme.

It states: “It is our view that the figure of 5,662 net dwellings (298 per annum) from 2011 to 2030 is hopelessly unrealistic, and the proposal to stagger this figure from 220 to 353 is just whistling in the wind, hoping for something to crop up on the basis of no evidence.”

It goes on to say that “many of the completions last year and those expected this year are from the council-sponsored PEARL developments and not from the private sector, whose performance is even worse than that suggested by these figures”.

A bid to exclude the sites at the last Pendle Council meeting in September was lost when Labour councillors abstained, allowing Conservative councillors to vote the proposal through. A six week public consultation finished in November.